great work comes from self-forgetting

Mindfulness, or awareness, does not mean that you should think and be conscious “I am doing this” or “I am doing that.”  No.  Just the contrary.

The moment you think “I am doing this,” you become self-conscious, and then you do not live in the action, but you live in the idea “I am,” and consequently your work too is spoiled.

You should forget yourself completely, and lose yourself in what you do.  The moment a speaker becomes self-conscious and thinks “I am addressing an audience,” his speech is distributed and his trend of thought broken. But when he forgets himself in his speech, in his subject, then he is at his best, he speaks well and explains things clearly.

All great work–artistic, poetic, intellectual or spiritual–is produced at those moments when its creators are lost completely in their actions, when they forget themselves altogether, and are free from self-consciousness.

– Walpola Rahula, in What the Buddha Taught